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Current Issue #54 - October 2006

In this issue we will look at another form of hackle before turning our attention to accelerating heads. For some time readers and others have been sending me information about wheel heads that they have found. Some have included exciting new discoveries.


Three Hackles
by Susie Henzie

Among her collection of textile tools, Susie Henzie has three hackles that are different from the hackles, also called hetchels, that were discussed in recent issues. An old book provides clues to the possible origin of one of them.

Hackle #1
Hackle #1

Hackle #2
Hackle #2

Hackle #3
Hackle #3

 

Accelerating Wheel Heads: A Comparison
by Alvin Ramer

lvin Ramer has studied three wheel heads, two American marked Pierce, and one Canadian marked A. Graves. Nothing is known about the Canadian wheel-head maker, but the wheel heads made by the Pierce company in New Hampshire are well documented.

Wheel head #1 marked FRED B. PIERCE
Wheel head #1 marked FRED B. PIERCE

Wheel head #3 marked A. GRAVES
Wheel head #3 marked A. GRAVES

 

Head Hunting

Helen Seguin likes to search for wheel heads on what she kiddingly calls "head-hunting expeditions." Hence the title for this article. She and Erv Henecke have found examples of wheel heads with unusual labels. Although there was historical evidence for these wheel-head makers, these heads are the first examples by them that we have found.

Helen's wheel head marked S. S. CAMPBELL
Helen's wheel head marked S. S. CAMPBELL

 

Moses Demming and Wheel Heads
by Florence Feldman-Wood

As a result of an inquiry about wheel heads from Rod Knight in Ohio, I learned more about Amos Miner and one of his original partners, Davis Demming. Rod sent an excerpt from an autobiography of Moses Demming, the brother of Davis Demming.

From Archives of Useful Knowledge, October 1811
From Archives of Useful Knowledge, October 1811

 

An Ambidextrous Great Wheel
by Michael Taylor

Studying an old lithograph of a woman spinning on a wheel with the spindle on the right-hand side, Michael Taylor ponders whether her wheel was meant for her to spin that way. He then studies a J. Farnham great wheel to see whether it is "ambidextrous."

A Wheel of Three Generations - 1884
"A Wheel of Three Generations - 1884"

Great wheel marked J. FARNHAM
Great wheel marked J. FARNHAM
Collection of Michael Talyor

 

A Gallery of Unusual Wheel Heads
by Michael Holcomb

In a gallery of unusual wheel heads, Michael Holcomb shares some examples from his extensive collection. When I visited David Pennington last summer, I studied some of his strange wheel heads.

From the Holcomb collection

Photo #1
Photo #1

Photo #2
Photo #2

Photo #3
Photo #3

Wheel marked S. HILDRETH - Collection of Erv Henecke
Wheel marked S. HILDRETH
Collection of Erv Henecke

From the Pennington collection

Photo #1
Photo #1

Photo #2
Photo #2

Photo #3
Photo #3

Photo #4 rear view of #3
Photo #4 rear view of #3

Photo #5 U-shaped wheel head
Photo #5 U-shaped wheel head

 

Corn-Husk Bearings
by Doug Elliott

After I forwarded an inquiry to Doug Elliott about corn-husk bearings, he replied with instructions on how to make them.

Braiding corn-husk bearings
Braiding corn-husk bearings

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